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10 pop-top caravans for every traveller

There’s a lot to be said for a good pop-top caravan. Sure, they have a couple of minor downsides, like a slight loss in insulation and the canvas flapping a little in high winds, but the increased aerodynamic efficiency and ability to store it in the carport makes them the perfect choice for a lot of towing aficionados. 

As with most camper-related activities, however, we live in a time where there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of options on the market and making the $50K decision, let alone even telling some of them apart, is not an easily landed-on thing. 

But that’s why you subscribe to RVDaily, right? We’re here to give you a few options that’ll suit your lifestyle, tow-rig and budget. So strap in for 10 of the nicest pop-top caravans to suit any traveller. Oh, and let us know in the comments which one(s) we overlooked. 

New Age Manta Ray 16ft (best for couples)

From $69,990

pop-top caravans - New Age Manta Ray
New Age Manta Ray 16ft pop-top caravan © New Age Caravans

With an internal bathroom, kitchen, dinette and Queen bed, the New Age Manta Ray is an exceptionally comfy pop-top caravan that could take the travelling couple on any number of adventures. Available in on and semi-off-road models, the Walkinshaw-built chassis is more than up to the task of providing years of reliable, trouble-free town-hopping. 

All the niceties are included, like AC, a 175L upright Thetford fridge and even a microwave for rainy popcorn nights in front of the flat screen. If you and your partner are looking to put the city lights in the rearview and head off for a few weeks (or years) of open roads and relaxation, then you could do a lot worse than having a Manta Ray hitched up behind you. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 2 adults 
  • ATM: 2540kg
  • Tare: 2140kg
  • Tow ball weight: 200kg

Jayco Journey 17.1ft (best for families)

From $52,155

pop-top caravans
Jayco Journey 17.1ft © Jayco

We all know Jayco, we all know that they offer decent value and a huge range of layouts, and we reckon the 17.1ft Journey pop-top caravan is a banger for families looking to hit the parks with convenience and hassle-free vanning. 

Featuring standard inclusions like AC, a microwave, a four-burner stove and a Projecta BMS, the Journey makes travelling with the clan way less of a chore than it otherwise could be. With up to four bunks for the little ones and a Queen bed for the bigger kids, it makes a pretty decent home away from home. Just north of the magic $50K figure and with a surprisingly towable tare weight for a 17-foot trailer, it represents great value for those looking to stretch their dollar as far as possible, too. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 2 adults, 4 Kids
  • ATM: 2230kg
  • Tare: 1740kg
  • Tow ball weight: 140kg

Paramount Micro (best for solo adventure)

Price dependent on model selection and options – expect around the $70K mark

pop-top caravans
Paramount Micro © Paramount Caravans

While the Paramount Micro range of pop-top caravans are designated as a ‘compact’ design, they’re definitely not short on cosiness or inclusions. Available from 14ft to 17.5ft in length, the Micro is just about spot on for people who are heading off solo (or as a couple) but don’t want to miss out on the luxury of a larger van. Queen bed, shower & toilet, kitchenette and dinette are all packed into fourteen feet of space, and yet it somehow does not feel cramped. The relatively light weight also makes towing a simple affair for any mid-sized ute or SUV. There’s also about a billion different available floorplans and options for those who are looking for something specific. 

It stores incredibly well, too, with the AC under the bed instead of up on the roof, so with the pop-top dropped, it fits into most home garages or carports without too much trouble. In addition, the better-than-okay payload capacity means it’s capable of handling life on the road for a good stretch of time. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 1-2 adults 
  • ATM: 2495kg
  • Tare: 1760kg 
  • Tow ball weight: 165kg (14ft)

Kimberley Karavan (best for off-road travel)

From $125,855

Kimberley Karavan © Kimberley Kampers

Okay, it’s more of a hybrid than an actual caravan, but come on, the word is right there in the name (with a K), and it does pop up… and out. Nevertheless, if you want to tackle some of the tougher trips with a van in tow, there are really very few places you can’t get this pop-top Kimberley Caravan to. Designed to handle the tougher trips without breaking a sweat, they’re basically built for waaaaay off-grid camping, with airbag suspension, galvanised chassis and 33in rubber from stock.

They’re a long way from roughing it as well, with a Queen bed, dinette, internal bathroom and induction cooking, plus all of the amp-hours (up to 600Ah) and solar you could need for remote comfort. They’re a luxo place to spend an Outback evening or a few weeks exploring the Top End. 

Kimberley pop-top caravans fall into the mid-range in terms of weight, too, so towing and fuel usage are not the massive concerns they can easily become with a larger and less wind-tunnel-congenial van. Equally good for a couple or young family, if you reckon the fun starts when the bitumen stops, the Kimberley is a slice of you. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: up to 6 people 
  • ATM: 2495kg
  • Tare: 1580kg
  • Tow ball weight: ~160kg

Mars Ranger X MKII (best bang for buck)

From $45,000

Mars Ranger X MKII © Mars Campers

Let’s take stock, shall we? A family-friendly pop-top caravan that rings in at under two tonnes and a fair chunk south of fifty gorillas. With inclusions like 270Ah of lithium, 400W of solar, a Queen bed plus three singles, Truma AC & hot water and a 5-year warranty with off-road capability? Welcome to value town, baby, population: the Ranger X from Mars.

While you do miss out on a few of the finer things, like an internal kitchen or bathroom, the Mars Ranger X MKII is more than capable of handling family duties at the caravan park or further afield if that’s what you’re into. The fact that you can pull this pop-top caravan behind pretty much any decent-sized tow rig (including a Subaru Outback), makes it a hell of a financially attractive package. Which nobody has ever said about me. Sigh. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 2 adults, 3 kids 
  • ATM: 2200kg
  • Tare: 1600kg
  • Tow ball weight: 150kg

Bruder EXP-7 (best for when money is no object)

From $266,250

© Bruder

Here you are, with numerous investment properties, a flourishing stock portfolio, no mortgage, and almost no overheads since your kids have access to the ‘seven-zeroes’ trust funds their grandparents left them. First off, are you looking to adopt any middle-aged children? No, you just want a caravan that’s state-of-the-art and fancier than a Rolls Royce modified by NASA? Fair enough. In that case, you may want to take a look at Aussie manufacturer Bruder’s latest release, the EXP-7 pop-top caravan. 

Made from high-end composite for maximum insulation, a completely customisable interior (leather or suede, right this way, my lord), an innovative two-way indoor/outdoor induction kitchen and enough battery and solar power to run the International Space Station for a year or two, this thing is, put simply, a quarter-of-a-milly weapon. 

The four-wheel patented airbag suspension will allow it to run with only two wheels, spread the load between each wheel equally and pretty much wake you up in the morning with a big hug, a gourmet coffee and a Michelin-star-chef-prepped eggs on brioche. It’s that sort of pop-top caravan. Check the video for all the deets, but yeah, I want to take this home and introduce it to my parents… who definitely won’t believe it’s dating me. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 4 adults 
  • ATM: 3500kg
  • Tare: 2700kg
  • Tow ball weight: ~250kg

Cub Campers H14 (best for outdoorsy folks)

From $89,990

pop-top caravans
Cub Campers H14 © Cub Campers

You love cross-fit and downhill mountain biking, you’ve been skydiving on purpose, you secretly think you could take a grizzly bear in a fight, and you’re an axe of a human being who lives for the great outdoors and did 50 push-ups while reading that last sentence. You don’t need plush-pile carpet and recliner chairs in your van, you just need somewhere to sleep, pee and maybe smash down a protein bar or two before you head out for a quick kite-surf before the sun comes up fully. 

The Cub H14 pop-top caravan is here for you, legend. No indoor kitchen, sumptuous L-lounge or mahogany tables, just a top-quality camper that’s as ready to rumble as you are. With proper off-road suspension, enough luxury to satisfy a member of the Sultan of Brunei’s kids, and heaps of mod-cons without being over the top, the H14 is right in the sweet spot for those who are too busy having adventures to wrestle with setting up camp, but are more likely to pull up at a remote BASE jumping spot rather than the local caravan park (to be fair, the H14 could do either without a worry though). 

If Redbull were going to build a pop-top caravan, it’d probably look a lot like this one. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 2 adults 
  • ATM: 2500kg
  • Tare: 1830kg
  • Tow ball weight: 150kg

Golf Maxxi 501-3 (best for indoorsy folks)

From $73,500

© Golf Caravans

If you inherently relate to Shrek, who just wants to be left alone in his swamp, or your idea of fun is a rainstorm outside while you’re snuggled up in the warmth with a hot cup of cocoa and your seventh re-read of Harry Potter, then you’re probably looking for a pop-top caravan that’s got the comfort ramped up to eleven. Don’t fret, my friend, the Maxxi range of pop-top caravan from Golf Caravans is the Hermione to your Ron. 

The fold-out beds at either end lend themselves to a larger-than-average amount of interior room, and along with the generous dinette, you’re essentially set for a rainy weekend indoors. The only thing missing is a roaring fire on the hearth and a fine Cohiba, but for obvious reasons, they’re best given a miss in a caravan setting. Or at least they are, according to our lawyers…whatever. 

With plenty of USB charging points and even a magazine holder, the Maxxi is the ideal spot to spend a few hours refusing to work on your tan and avoiding all social responsibility. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 4 adults, 2 kids
  • ATM: 1970kg
  • Tare: 1570kg
  • Tow ball weight: 170kg

Avan Aspire 402 double (best for light-duty tow rigs)

From $52,550

pop-top caravans
Avan Aspire pop-top caravan © Avan

If the idea of driving and backing up a 25-foot van and full-size American truck is about as appealing as sandpaper undies, then the Avan Aspire range is your brand of whimsy. With a tare weight lower than most camper trailers, the two-berth Aspire 402 is able to be towed by your Subie wagon or Rav-4 small SUV. 

While it’s far from the most opulent of pop-top caravans on this list, it’s still more than able to take you and your partner on a trip away for a few nights in high levels of comfort without taking a bat to your fuel economy or sanity when you need to back it into a site at the park. Avan are known for using quality components, and you can expect your Aspire to last a long time with proper usage and maintenance. 

There are a heap of options and layouts on offer, and being able to plug into shore power while onsite takes a lot of the stress out of your holiday. Is it for lugging behind your LandCruiser down the Canning Stock Route? No, but it is ‘pack up and hit the road with barely any notice’ levels of easy to live with, and that goes a long way in our book. 

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 2 adults
  • ATM: 1500kg
  • Tare: 1150kg
  • Tow ball weight: 140kg

Zone RV Expedition (best for heavy-duty tow rigs)

From $139,000

pop-top caravans
© Zone RV

To be fair, you can tow the Zone RV Expedition pretty comfortably with just about any dual-cab ute or mid-size SUV. But given it’s nearly 20 feet long (with the huge front toolbox taken into account) and tips the scales at 2450kg with no gear onboard and no water in its 300L-worth of capacity, we can see it getting pretty porky pretty quickly. Nothing a sneaky GVM upgrade or sliding into the driver’s seat of a full-size couldn’t handle, though. 

After that, however, it’s all gravy with this pop-top caravan. Dual axles on airbags with disc brakes, diesel heating and hot water (less draw on your 400Ah, upgradeable to 800Ah, of Redarc-controlled lithium power) and all of the mod cons (like AC, a very generous bathroom and both indoor & outdoor fridges) you’d expect at this price point. They even offer 12 months of complimentary roadside assistance, which is pretty cool if you ask us. 

Together with that amazing 1T+ of payload, woodless composite construction and the ability to take the Expedition to remote locations as easily to your favourite 2WD-accessible site, it quickly becomes one of those caravans where the longer you look at it, the better it becomes. And it looks pretty sweet to begin with.

Quick look:

  • Sleeps: 2 adults, 1 kid
  • ATM: 3500kg
  • Tare: 2450kg
  • Tow ball weight: ~240kg

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